The "Battle of the Breeds," match races involving members of the Maryland Standardbred and thoroughbred communities, was declared a draw Saturday night at Rosecroft Raceway when judges couldn't decide whether jockey Andrea Seefeldt violated the rules by galloping her horse across the finish line first in the deciding event.
Seefeldt cruised to victory aboard Supernova S. in a five-furlong flat race in which only Rosecroft driver Betsy Brown adhered to the qualification that the six entrants had to trot and pace under saddle. Brown finished last.
Joe De Francis, president of Laurel and Pimlico race courses, went wire to wire on the rail to win with Plug Nickel in the "Executive Challenge," first of the three non-betting events. "I was just hanging on," said De Francis, whose horse finished the mile in 2 minutes, 14 3/5 seconds.
Rosecroft drivers Tom Jackson and Jim Morand finished 1-2 in the second race, a mile in carts, with Laurel veteran Joe Rocco third. That left the Rosecroft connections with an 11-7 point lead entering the finale. Points were accumulated on a 5-3-1 basis.
Laurel executives and jockeys rode in carts with coaches while the Rosecroft drivers went alone. Mark Johnston was the other Laurel jockey who participated in the absence of leading rider Mike Luzzi, who had riding commitments in New Jersey.